The effects of sweeps : a content analysis of Chicago television news
MetadataShow full item record
The goal of this study was to analyze news content in five Chicago television stations' news programs during a sweep ratings period and a non-sweep ratings period. The hypotheses were: (I) The quantity of hard news will change significantly from a sweep period to a non-sweep period. (II) The ratings positions of each station and the share (of audience) will change significantly from a sweep period to a non-sweep period. (Ill) The quantity of soft news will change significantly from a sweep period to a non-sweep period. Two weeks of the year were selected by simple random sampling, one week within the sweep periods and one week within the non-sweep ratings periods. The last nightly television news program was videotaped, Monday through Friday, from CBS/WBBM, NBC/WMAQ, ABC-Cap Cities/WLS, Tribune/WGN and Fox/WFLD. After all newscasts were videotaped, their contents were coded by two individuals. Each item was measured in terms of the total seconds used. Another individual reviewed the coded material to establish coding reliability. The data were tested by the statistical t-test for independent means and z-test for differences in percentages. Generally, support was found for all three hypotheses .